Sunday, 27 April 2014

Still Holding The Fort

On this cold and windy April morning I took a walk to the back of our property and was pleased to see the bluebirds still holding their claim to one of the brood boxes. As I watched from a comfortable log seat at the edge of the bush I witnessed a vicious fight between the male bluebird and a male tree swallow. They were both on the ground under the disputed nest box and locked in serious combat for perhaps half a minute. When they disentangled, the bluebird flew to the roof of the disputed box in victory. Satisfied that his ownership was acknowledged, he flew to a tree branch nearby to smooth some battle ruffled feathers.

Looking West. The red arrow points to the bluebird box.

Looking East.

The male bluebird guarding his box against interlopers.

After a vicious scuffle with a tree swallow, the bluebird claims victory.

After fight feather repair.

Now missing some feathers, he is still king of the castle.

Lest you feel sorry for the tree swallows, let me point out that of perhaps two dozen bird boxes on my property, all are occupied by tree swallows except for the one above. Here are a few pics of some tree swallow holdings:

Near the pine trees.

A tree swallow pair watching over their box.

This box needs a new fastener on the cleanout panel.

Swallows facing into the wind under a mature ash tree.

This streamside box has an ABS pipe fitted for predator control.

The page wire fence makes a dandy perch.

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